Could you first introduce yourself and tell us about your personal background?
My name is Vidal Vilches Vilela, I’m a lifelong basketball fan, first as an amateur player who dreamed of becoming a professional player, then as a fan of the sport and so I try to watch every game I can get my hands on, of all kinds and categories.
I own a law firm, I have been in contact with clubs, because of my legal support work, and with some players, for the same reasons, so I know the club side but also the player side. Once, I decided to get the FIBA agent license, and here I am with the project “BallTopTalents.“
How did the Balltoptalents project come about and how does it differ from other agencies?
Like many companies that are born in Spain, Balltoptalents was created when I met people who shared the same vision as mine and had the same way of doing business and seeing life. We meet almost exclusively to talk about basketball, as a vital excuse, and a constant link of our friendship.
We brought together 4 expert partners to create a solid foundation for the Balltoptalents project.
Economic (with a financial advisor), legal, brand and social media management (with a leading social media expert), and scouting, with an expert in youth basketball, well established in the world of physical preparation and nutrition.
Our intention is not to compare ourselves with other agencies! They are many and very good, but we can offer a series of services to our players, and not only the representation of their sports career, but also other aspects. Our players have at their disposal a set of professionals to help them: Educational, psychological, physical, nutritional, marketing support and, of course, also in the legal and financial aspects.
What is your vision of the Spanish and European market?
We are starting from a pandemic situation, which has made things even more difficult. The context is very precarious as far as the economy of the clubs and sponsors is concerned.
However, the player must be ready to pack his bags and go for his talent, trying to perform from the first minute of the match. It’s an open scenario to bet on new players, eager to take on the world.
What kind of relationship do you like to have with the clubs?
Some agencies work almost exclusively with a few clubs looking for players, others focus more on scouting young players and offer them to all the clubs they know. We are in the second scenario.
Without revealing your secrets, how do you usually work to find new players?
We have two permanent recruiters going all around Spain, so we follow a lot of Spanish players who stand out. We are looking for players between 15 and 21 years old.
In addition, we organize an annual camp to bring our players together.
We also travel every summer to France and Africa (especially in Mali and Senegal), because that’s where the greatest talents are today!
Which criteria do you use to evaluate and select players?
The first criteria for evaluating a player is their natural physique. From there, we analyze their ability to learn, understand and develop the game, and of course their desire to learn and improve.
You were the first Spanish agency to bet on Sportiw, what does it bring you?
Your platform is a business card! Sportiw gives us visibility, access to very interesting actors and interaction with people who would otherwise be impossible to contact or meet.
I only ask that you continue as you are doing. I think the path you have taken as a basketball “Linkedin” is the right one and I can only encourage you to persevere.
Thank you very much Vidal for taking the time to answer the interview and to share with us your vision of the work of an agent and of the current market situation.